News & Runway

21 Questions with… Nick Van Messner of LIFEwithBIRD

Photo courtesy of LIFEwithBIRD

Photo courtesy of LIFEwithBIRD

Australian label LIFEwithBIRD was co-founded by husband and wife Bridget McCall and Nick Van Messner back in 2002, with the couple creating beautifully constructed and effortless contemporary clothing for the fashion-forward customer ever since. 

With such a beautiful and dreamy aesthetic building this label into a household name, we caught up with Nick Van Messner to get inside his head, finding out what inspires him, his thoughts on the women’s fashion industry, and, of course, what it’s like working with your partner.

Get to know Nick by seeing how he answered our quick-fire questions below.

  1. The best thing about being an Australian label is…. Australians live to their own beat, and to be able to design for so many unique individuals makes going to work such a great experience.
  2. Something that people don’t realise about parenthood is… It’s really hard, and forget about trying to get some work done while looking after your munchkin. However, all it takes is one little smile and you forget about all of the hard stuff.
  3. Fashion design allows me to… Challenge myself.
  4. Being in business with your partner is… Amazing! We are the best team at work and at home! I wouldn’t have it any other way.
    Photo: LIFEwithBIRD

    Photo: LIFEwithBIRD

  5. The most exciting person to see in LIFEwithBIRD was… Over the years we’ve had a lot of celebrities, such as Chloe Sevigny, Kate Hudson and Margaret Zhang, but still nothing beats seeing your designs walking down the street.
  6. I am inspired by… So many things. I really just absorb everything and it comes out in my work. That is one of the most enjoyable parts of my job. I remember being in NYC and walking past a mesh fence and the shadow from this fence created such an amazing pattern that I knew I had to do something with that.
  7. I’ll never leave home without… Keys, phone, wallet and sunnies.
  8. If I wasn’t designing clothes I would be… Designing something… maybe interiors.

  9. Life in Melbourne is great because… Everyone says so! It’s the most liveable city, definitely not for the weather, but the amazing arts and culture and incredible food give the city its pulse.
  10. The biggest “pinch me” moment I’ve ever had was when… Francisco Costa of Calvin Klein threw a dinner party for Bridget and I, to introduce us to the New York Fashion scene with some of the top editors and designers. It was a memorable night.
  11. The greatest thing about my job is… The people. We have the best team. Everyone is so passionate and driven and we couldn’t do it without them. They’re also great for a knock off drink!
  12. One thing I’ll never understand about the fashion industry is… Why we deliver heavy winter coats in January when it’s boiling outside.
  13. The biggest difference between women’s and men’s fashion is… Men’s fashion evolves on a very small scale.
  14. Fashion bloggers are important to business because… They are delivering a curated message that is quick and responsive to the time and in a world where everyone is competing to get one’s attention. Bloggers have a created a medium that is engaging and is becoming very lucrative.
  15. One thing I’ve never done but would still like to do is… Live in another city.
  16. Working in women’s fashion as a man can be… Awesome! I grew up with my Mum and sister, so I have always been comfortable in this format.
  17. The most important thing is life is to… Smell the roses and enjoy the ride.
  18. My guilty pleasure is… Food. Whether it is fine dining or serious junk…..I’m in.
  19. One person I’d love to see in a LIFEwithBIRD design is… Vanessa Traina.
  20. I’d never be caught dead wearing… Crocs!
  21. The best life advice I’ve ever received was… Let it go. Life is too short to hold onto some things.